Matthew: Day 2

Jesus’ Ministry Begins

by

Today's Text: Matthew 3:1-17, Matthew 4:1-25, Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 4:1-6

Scripture Reading: Matthew 3:1-17, Matthew 4:1-25, Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 4:1-6

I recently visited the eye doctor. While waiting for the exam, I looked at the framed diploma on the wall assuring me that this doctor had gone to medical school and successfully received her degree in ophthalmology. Can you imagine if instead of an ophthalmology degree hanging on the wall, it was a degree in something like culinary arts? I don’t want an eye doctor certified in making soufflés. I want an eye doctor certified in treating eyes.

Where someone’s authority comes from matters. It matters to us today, and it mattered to those present during the events recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.

Everyone in the Galilee region was asking the same question: Who is Jesus? Some asked it aloud but probably all who came in contact with Him asked it to themselves. If Jesus was a rabbi or a prophet, that would have given Him some authority, but not authority over everything. However, if Jesus was the Son of God, that would give Him full authority. That would mean that everything He did was worth watching. Everything He said worth listening to and abiding by.

This is why the identification of Jesus in Matthew 3 is so pivotal to the gospel story. Present at Jesus’ baptism were those who were skeptical of Him, such as the Pharisees, as well as some who believed, such as John the Baptist. In front of them all, the Father answered everyone’s question: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

The declaration of Jesus’ authority mattered greatly that day. Jesus was beginning His ministry. He would go on to perform miracles and heal countless numbers of people. If He was doing so by any name other than the Father’s, if His miracles were performed through anyone other than the Holy Spirit, His authority during His ministry would be undermined, as well as the work that was done on the cross.

Authority matters.

Later in chapter four, Satan tempts Jesus. What was Satan’s strategy? To question Jesus’ authority. You can’t turn this rock to bread…The angels don’t really answer to you…You are not actually in control of anything here. It’s the same strategy Satan uses to tempt us. He wants us to question Jesus’ authority, to look outside of Christ for guidance. To bow down to other idols. To look to fulfillment in other things.

If Jesus is not the authority in our lives, something else will be, someone else will be.

Scripture says the devil left Jesus when Jesus quoted these words from the law: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him” (Matthew 4:10). Satan knew he stood no chance against someone who was clear about the authority in His life. He stands no chance against us, if we are clear about the authority that is ours in Christ Jesus.

Who is Jesus in your life?

Does He have authority? Is He the Son of God, or, when it comes down to it, is His role more that of a rabbi’s? A good teacher, but not the be-all-end-all? How we answer this question determines what or who has authority over our life. May it be the Son of God, and may we say with boldness today, “Him only do I serve.”  

SRT-Matthew-instagram-2

Leave a Reply to Jenneh Bockari Cancel reply

/

  • Rachael Schupbach

    I love how she points out that Satan uses the same schemes today. Questioning Jesus’ authority! Shaking the very foundation. If he can rattle who we put our trust in – he’s got something to build on. I love how Jesus straight puts him in his place and how we can too!!

  • Cassidy Bottoms

    Him only do I serve!!

  • “If Jesus is not the authority in our lives, something else will be, someone else will be.”
    This quote right here…there are too many times in my life where I have expected my husband to fill whatever void I had in my heart instead of Jesus. Just today, all day, I did this. I was moody, irritable, mad at God for not doing what I thought He should. Man… just that one sentence took me out!
    Thank you God for being the one and only one that I need for all my desires of my heart… and fort loving me unconditionally as your daughter!! Keep teaching me, Lord ❤

  • Sharon Ng

    Him only do I serve. ❤️

  • Kendra Allison

    I give Jesus all authority over my life! I am His and He is mine!!

  • I continue to give authority to Jesus over my life today.

  • Chaney Shadrock

    Needed this. I am deep in hurt right now because I have allowed people and dreams to take authority over my life. I have to choose Jesus. Everyday. Every moment.

  • Alex Yearley

    False idols can really be a tricky thing to navigate. I know that I often find myself clutching for control in whatever ways I can and losing sight of the reality. Which comes down to one thing, Christ died for my ability to navigate life. My inability to be gracious, accepting, and dedicated to that creates a divide between He and I. I am not in control. Nor are the other “things” and “people” who I give my allegiance to. Christ and Christ alone is the ultimate fulfillment for whatever I may need or desire. I am really working on seeing that in the best of times and the worst of times. Christ is my all. Not my “when it’s convenient.”

  • How many times a day do we have the opportunity to call on His authority. Lots I bet! I need to let His authoritybe my defaulting all situations.

  • me too

  • Holly Odom

    I agree! I was challenged this week to think about in this free, yet wandering world who or what my shepherds were/are. Am I being misled by following the moral standard and entrusting some areas and not all? Lots to ponder- I love how you put it because it is exactly what I have been thinking about this week.

  • Allyce Lyles

    Wow. This hits home. Too many times I fall short in making other things in my life my authority…falling weak to Satan’s temptations.

  • Danya Ho

    If Jesus is not the authority in our lives, something else will be, someone else will be.

  • Caitlin Price

    Time for the truth; I have never thought of Jesus being an authoritative role in my life until reading this passage. It’s only now that I understand that Satan has too much authority in my life. I connect so much with this passage when i read about how Satan tempted Jesus with things on the mountain. This is my daily life. Obviously he isn’t saying tempting me with turning fish to bread, but more so in my daily routine and actions. Jesus deserves more authority in my life! Love this passage!

    • Bay Billups

      I agree! This was a new view point I had never truly seen or understood. I too need to honor the authority Jesus has and allow that to truly impact my life. Thank you for posting your comment I really agree!

  • Erica Callicutt

    Love this reading & would Iike to make some notes on it for future reference. I can’t figure out notes on the updated app – can someone point me in the right direction? ☺️

    • Cori S.

      I can’t figure it out either.

    • Lori Springer

      If you tap ‘read in the bible’ under each scripture section…. that is where you can select the verse by holding your finger on it and the options appear to note, highlight, share, etc.

  • Olubukola

    How does a cynic/skeptic find confidence in who Jesus is? How can we accept His authority?

    • Melodie Powell

      Pray and ask Him to reveal Himself to you, He will know if you are sincere, and want to know Him. Read His word, the Bible, start with the book of John in the New Testament. You will never know a greater love, than His for you.

      • Denise

        Well, if you don’t accept his authority, who’s do you accept? Yours? Or someone else’s ? Whatever your sourc eis, why would you believe it over Christ? What proof can your source give that Jesus is not who he claims to be – God?

    • Jennifer Ciarletta

      I would suggest what Melodie said and also start journaling your questions/prayers. Go back and see how God answers them. Read different versions of the Bible (there are numerous Bible apps that have multiple versions on them) so you can find one that is clear and you can easily understand. Ask God to make those things that are confusing clear to you. Take notes about the character and heart of Jesus. He is consistent in His Word and His character. I am praying for you that you will find God who loves you, who is not offended by your questions, who will reveal Himself to you as you seek Him with an open heart, who sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. Blessings to you. Indeed, you will never know a greater love than the love of God.

  • Ashley Gilbert

    ♥️

  • Kylie Loewecke

    I loved how this passage acknowledged how Satan uses the same strategy to get us to look away from Christ… it was a good reminder for me what I have been using in certain areas to fulfill my life with in lieu of Christ. I also never really considered the Lord used the declaration as a way to establish authority. I had always viewed it more as words of praise, indicating his pride. Love this. Thanks!

  • Maria Estrada

    YES! Amen! If Christ has your whole heart and mind there is room for no other. It’s so easy for other little things to start to take over his rightful place because they are physically visual. I will pray over this. I will pray that when the devil offers me a mountain or a city, I will shout back that GOD gives us ALL.

  • Praying that I am able to accept His authority and follow Him with my whole heart ♡

  • Jennifer Lane

    ….. glory if we should bow to him. I feel like this speaks to me about what I see on social media a lot. Beautiful houses, beautiful vacations, beautiful clothes, etc. But I will not let these things be the authority in my life! GET AWAY SATAN!

  • Jennifer Lane

    Matthew 4:8-9, really struck a chord with me. I think many people, myself included are often tempted by the devil in this way. The devil tempts Him with all the kingdoms and their

  • Kelly Wilson

    What really stood out for me after reading today’s Bible reading is how much my fears and satan are alike. My fears and for that matter insecurities mimic the voice of satan- I’m not good enough, I can’t, you won’t. For the first time I am really realizing that my fears have been holding me back from the calling that God wants me to fulfil. I will set my eyes on Jesus and hear (and listen to) only his voice. That is truth…everything else is just chatter in the desert.

  • Authenticity. This is something that I place a lot of value in. My close friends know that in order for me to open up to someone and actually become close to them I have to feel that person is giving me the raw, authentic version of themselves. I dislike facades, and people who say one thing and then act differently. But when the microscope is turned back on me what does it reveal? Authenticity in my friendships: yeah. But what about authenticity in my Christian walk. I have learned the correct responses, but do they go past surface level and change me? How authentic my christian walk and witness is will be as authentic as the authority in my life. If others, myself, or something is the authority, then I will not be as authentic as desired. Only when I actually am acting in trust and letting God be the authority can I walk an authentic christian life. That doesn’t mean we don’t mess up and fall, but it does mean that we have a way to get back up and keep drawing nearer to our God who has full authority and is the definition of authentic!

  • This devotional was so thought provoking. Especially this sentence: “If Jesus is not the authority in our lives, something else will be, someone else will be.” It really forced me to self-reflect and consider what idols I might have in my life.

    I’m also finishing up the She Reads Truth book and Chapter 9 tied in so well with today’s devotional. Here’s an excerpt because it was too good not to share:

    “The good stuff is what the Tempter uses to draw our affections away from our Creator and into the creation. We are tempted to care for, consider, and rely on the good thing more deeply than we care for, consider, and rely on God. That’s all it takes for something to become an idol – our eternal souls placing their greatest affection on something that will turn to dust. In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller calls the human heart an ‘idol factory that takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.’”

    I highly recommend the SRT book for those of you haven’t read it yet! The theme of it (Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away) makes it a great accompaniment to this study on the book of Matthew.

  • Katherine Nelson

    The question of “Is Jesus just a rabbi in my life or is he my LORD” really hit me. Feeling like a needs prayers of strength and willingness to hand over my reigns

  • Sara Moore

    Yes. I so need to make Jesus the only authority in my life but also remember that I can’t control others and make Jesus the authority over them. It is so distressing when we see other Christians acting in ways that can harm their image and testimony but we just have to remember that prayer works and to shower them with it. I love walking through Jesus’ life with you all so far.

    • Kristi

      Sara, I struggle with this too. It’s been a tough lesson to learn, but you are absolutely right. We need to be covering others in prayer and trust God to change hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    • Angela Nelson

      ^^ Amen!!

  • This is so true in my life that we forget that God is in control. I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety and my husband reminds me often that God is in control and has greater plans than what we will ever know! It is so important to remember that He is in control. I also like the idea of just telling Satan to GO AWAY! I promise that if Satan can try to tempt Jesus that he will continue to tempt us. We just have to remember that our God is strong and almighty. Satan go away!! Have faith in our almighty God who sent his only son to die for OUR sins! Thank you Lord, for I don’t think we give thanks enough!

  • Valerie Cupo

    The changes I have seen since I gave control to Him are enough for me to tell you all that when you hand it all to him and ask him to conduct you will regret nothing. He is the Way!!

  • Allison Joy

    I’ve been reading “The Story of God, the Story of Us” by Sean Gladding, which is a retelling of the Bible, but presented as though people would have actually heard the Bible for the first time, back in Biblical times. So for the Old testament, it’s an old man during Judah’s exile in Babylon telling the stories of God around a fire. And for the NT, it’s a woman of the early church telling the story of Jesus to merchants who stop by. (This is an inadequate description. The book is much better than my description here, I promise!)

    Anyway, the author makes an interesting connections regarding the temptations of Jesus. He was tempted in the main ways that the nation of Israel was tested. So stones into bread represents the nation of Israel not trusting God to provide food and requesting… demanding that God give them food. So God gives them manna. Then Satan tempts Jesus to throw Himself down to prove He is God, and the angels will attend to Him. Jesus replies that “you shall not put the Lord God to the test.” But Israel was constantly putting God to the test. And then the last one is about serving only God. Israel made a golden calf to worship when they couldn’t see God. It’s an interesting connection that I had never heard put in those words before.

  • Lindsey Smith

    At our wedding 11 years ago, the sermon was themed “Let God and Let Go” and I feel like it’s been the base of our marriage. God is the authority in our marriage and lives. It’s been a huge weight off our shoulders knowing we aren’t in this alone… God is Good!

  • Kaitlin Bagby

    Needed this!!

  • Kelly Chataine

    There is so much in today’s readings! My prayers and reflection are centering upon: What kind of fruit do I bear? Does it honor God? Am I armed with God’s word and ready to not only identify satan’s lies but deflect them? Do I prepare the way of our Lord in my life? To bring pleasure to God . . . . . is there anything more motivating?

  • Meri Kate Mollitor

    Such a great reminder of the clear authority He has over my life!

  • Shelby P

    I’m so guilty of “handling my life”. The truth, I sometimes lose sight of, is that Jesus has given me strength and wisdom to live my life. He loves me; protects me; keeps and sustains me; and He is the source of my life. My goal in 2018 is to ALWAYS give Him priority in my life and to follow wherever He leads me. Jesus couldn’t have said it any clearer when He said “for without Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

  • Hannah Bosman

    Reminding myself to give Jesus the authority in my life that he deserves will be my mission for 2018!

  • Victoria Rae

    I so needed this. Who is Jesus in MY life? I think the better question was where had he gone. Looking forward to putting Him back in the center of my life as 2018 begins- thank you for being here ladies!

    • Tanya

      My thoughts exactly. Today’s piece spoke directly to me. Who is Jesus in my life. And is it known that he has the authority in my life?

  • Sheronda White

    I needed this!!!!!! Jesus has authority in every aspect of my life!!!!! If he doesn’t what does that look like? What does it mean? Thoughts for today

  • Jenneh Bockari

    What a great reminder for the beginning of the new year. To proclaim Jesus as the authority of my life, and walk in the proclamation. Amen!

  • Lynn Siewert

    “Who is Jesus in my life?” MY life. The answer to the question of His complete authority is so profound. Pondering this today.

  • Deborah M Malone

    I am a fixer so this is very hard for me. I like to give God authority and then take it back when it doesn’t suit what I think needs to be done. I am going through something very hard to just be present in and know there is nothing I can do to make it better and that I can’t fix it. I want, I need this year to let go and let God be God to my loved ones and to myself. This is my beginning

  • If Jesus is not authority our lives , something else will be, someone else will be. I do appreciate it Andrea has thought provoking study today. I want my Jesus to have it all. Living here with my mom these almost 6 months has been good for my walk with Jesus as I see her constantly on her knees and what a great example for my children.

  • The Busymommy

    Lord, I declare you authority of me and everything in our home.
    My prayer is that we seek your authority & allow in to seep into our daily coming and goings….not just in the morning. Praise be to God!

  • My prayer for the New Year is for Him to reign over my life and to let His light shine before others through me!

  • Taylor Heston

    Wow, I needed this reminder. I haven’t been allowing Jesus authority over my life lately. But He is Lord of all and that includes me. Prayers are appreciated as I hand the reigns back to Him.

    • Amber Nutton

      Praying with you, Taylor. It’s easier than we think to allow other authority in our lives to take precedence over Him – but just like Philippians 4:13 promises – we can do ALL thing through Christ; including reverencing the place of authority He holds over our hearts, spirits, and lives. In one accord with you, sister.

    • Ashley Gray

      Praying with you sister! ❤️ You open your arms to Him and He will gladly take you back into His.

  • Morgan Latham

    I felt the need to declare this to the enemy today, ‘I worship the Lord, our God and I serve only Him’.

    Not today, Satan. Not today.

    Thank you, Jesus for showing us the way. For being our light. For being our strength. For being our anchor. We worship you and we love you endlessly.

  • I love the revelation in chapter 4 that even Satan knows what Scripture says. We should too.

  • Melody Hester

    Go Away Satan! I’m gonna use this line on him like Jesus did while knowing it’s more than just a spoken phrase but followed by worship and serving God alone.

  • Kasey Summers

    Jesus reigns supreme! Lord let my life reflect that!

  • Alexandra Trujillo

    This really made me put into perspective that God is the one and only authority in my life. I am new to these studies and this one spoke to me so loudly.

  • Today has reminded me that I need to allow Jesus to take his rightful place. I’ve been taken His place and today this has reminded me of where He belongs in my life! This was a great reminder of me letting go of control to allow Him to work!!

  • VIVIAN IVERS

    I love the establishment of Jesus’ authority in this teaching. So spot on! Jesus begins His ministry with the endorsement of His authority from God, “This is my Son”, and Jesus reiterates it in His last commandment, the Great Commission. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me”. There is no question about the authority of Jesus!

  • On page 25 of the book it says that there were only three disciples in the garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. In Mt 26:20 it says all of the twelve were there and as the story progresses the number does not seem to change. Am I missing something?

    • Lori

      The others were seated and He took Peter and 2 sons of Zebedee along with him to pray. (Mt. 26:37)

  • Bethany Melton

    God will not share his glory. contrasting herod in chap 2 who gets jealous and angry about Jesus and then kills all thevlittle boys vs. John the baptist, who pours out his life as a sacrifice, I want my life to be all about Gods glory because “in the beginning God.”

  • I will confess that lately Jesus hasn’t been the one in authority in my life. We’ve been more like good friends just kind of rocking along – nothing too deep, nothing too strenuous. This devotion has made me realize that I have taken Jesus’ right to rule and reign in my life for granted. I have gotten too comfortable with Him and have forgotten that He is more than just a good friend. He is Lord and He is Ruler. I thought about the line in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” where Mr. Beaver says, “He’s not safe, but he’s good.” And later someone says, “He’s not a tame lion.” I have forgotten this part of who Jesus is in my life. Every day, every minute, I need to say to Him that I willingly, with all my heart, give Him total control and authority in my life. It is not something I should take lightly. My focus has to be completely on Him.
    Be blessed!

    • Jessica

      I completely feel the same way Kathy!! Thank you so much for your transparency!!

  • Control is a very difficult thing to give up. But when i look at my life, it’s clear I need his help. I need his authority over my life. Lord, I relinquish my control over my life and give it up to you. Only you do i serve! You are my constant. Help me clear away all the clutter in my life that distracts me from my purpose…to serve you, to trust in you.

  • Caroline

    This might be one of my fave devotions

    “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:17

    He passed on all authority to us. How important that we access all of it and what a good reminder to do a gut check, who is ruling over my life?
    http://Www.In-due-time.com

  • Jacqueline Mace

    Can you ladies pray for me today? My husband and I are walking a path that we never thought we would. I am 16 weeks pregnant with our first baby and we recently found out our baby has a 25% chance of inheriting a fatal genetic disease. We have 2 more weeks of waiting to know if we will have a healthy baby or not. I am scared to walk this path if our baby is sick but I also desperately want to be a faithful servant. At first I was angry with God because this is not fair, but I know He hurts with us and one day he will make all things right. Please pray that we would allow hope to sustain us these next couple weeks and that if the worst does happen, it will draw us closer to God and maybe even draw others closer too.

    • Gina MacNeill

      Prayers for you today Jacqueline.

    • Cacey

      Putting you on my prayer list now.

    • Liz Oliver

      Praying that you will have hope, strength, and peace from our Great Comforter while you wait and no matter the news.

    • Krystal Medlock

      I am praying for you and your husband today! I remind myself often that the Lord loves and cherishes each of my children more than I could ever even fathom and that is very comforting to me. I have full faith that Jesus will knit your baby whole and healthy. May you remain rooted in Him during this journey and I pray for strong sense of unity with your husband.

    • Kathy

      Praying for you right now. Please keep us posted. No matter what God can make this count. Praying for His peace over the next couple of weeks.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for peace in the midst of the waiting and strength in whatever the report. Praying above all for this little one to know he/she is so loved even before they are seen, even as the heavenly Father keeps watch over your babe. He’s also watching and caring for you – He chose you as the perfect parents to love this little one for all its days. I pray they are many.

    • AliceV

      Praying for God’s mercy on your precious baby and for His peace to envelop you and your husband durIng this time of waiting.

    • Deborah Ward

      Praying for peace and praying your baby will be perfectly healthy in Jesus name!

    • Rhonda Jury

      Prayers for you and your husband…..may you totally feel The Peace from the Comforter.

    • Alli Freeborn

      Prayed for you and your family this morning.

    • Cecilia

      Praying!

    • Kat

      God not doctors have the final word. I have a friend who went through a similar situation and the baby did not even carry the gene both her parents had! She is now 4.5 years old! Jesus comes “With healing in His wings…”
      Praying for Jesus to cover you, your husband and that precious babe, nothing is dark to Him.

    • Nicole Moynahan

      Praying for you and your husband, be strong and trust in Him who can do ALL things. Xo

    • Michelle Dogterom

      Prayed for you, your husband and your baby this morning. That as you lean into Him, you both would find His peace in the waiting, and for health and strength for your baby. You are so right, God is hurting with you too.

    • Amana

      My husband and I walked in your shoes. Trust God. He will not leave you or forsake you.

    • Autumn

      Praying for peace and strength as you await the results.

    • Candace Hunter

      Jacqueline God has authority over all. My husband and I have walked a similar path 16 years ago. God is faithful.

    • Mari

      Prayed for you just now

    • Amy Kuo

      Praying for you.

    • Clare

      Dear Jacqueline, I wanted you to know this – my brother and his wife last year gave birth to a baby who had a 90% chance of a fatal cardiac abnormality, and indeed he had that problem when he was born. Major surgery followed days later. My parents and my husband and I prayed long and hard for the baby and a year on he is so healthy and happy it is a shock to all the health professionals, you would never know there was a problem. As others have said, God has the final word here, and you can trust his love for you and your baby, whatever the outcome know he loves you so deeply and has good and perfect things for you xx

    • Cayla Schreiner

      Prayers are with you and your family. God is good.. all the time. Blessings will be brought about in this trial! Stand strong in your faith and hope!

    • Carrie Forrester

      I just sent up a prayer for you and your little one. ❤️

    • Amanda Massey

      Praying for u, ur husband, and sweet baby! ♡ praying for God’s peace, hope, and trust to fill ur cup and overflow.

    • Cori S.

      Praying for peace for you, Jacqueline.

    • VIVIAN IVERS

      Praying for your strength and peace, God’s intervention and wisdom for the healthcare providers. Remember 75% chance that your baby won’t inherit this genetic disease. Fear is from the enemy and confidence is in the Lord. Whenever fear arises remember that perfect love casts out fear. Focus on Jesus. Praying for peace that surpasses all understanding.

  • Lora Joy Adzima

    Do I make it clear who has authority in my life? I am not sure that I always do. Jesus quoted scripture to Satan when he was being tempted. That made it clear to Satan. As I start 2018, I want my actions, words and heart to make it clear who is in authority in my life. A big part of that will be for me to stay in the Word daily and memorize scripture!

  • Rebekah DeLibro

    A question I needed to ask today, “ who is Jesus in my life?” I need to ask this every day! I think I’ll write it on our chalk board so we don’t forget to ask ourselves and to make sure it’s a priority. I want Jesus to be my first thought in morning and last thought before I sleep. My mind needs to think of him more throughout the day as well. He wants us to be closer to Him and I want that so much too.

  • Tracy Sims

    Yes Lord! Help me to give you all authority over my heart and my tongue. Thank you for your mercy and grace!

  • Jennette Nye

    “Who is Jesus in your life?” what a powerful question this morning! Taking sometime today to sit, think, and journal Who Jesus is in my life. From there if He isn’t truly Who He should be in my life may I change the things that need to be changed!!!!

  • Jo Gistand

    I love that question of authority. It’s so easy to allow other things or people to have authority in our lives. It’s so subtle! I’m praying that I intentionally (by his grace) relinquish control and authority to Him.

    • Libby Kosciuszko

      You took the words right out of my mouth! Things that I hadn’t even acknowledged as having authority over me came flooding into my mind. Time to clean house and make Him the ultimate authority.

  • Annissa Hackney

    Submission is hard. Submission to another authority goes against our human (sin) nature. Look at babies, they want their way and will do almost anything to get it. This is not a learned behavior, it is instinctive. I have found that I must submit my will to God daily (usually hourly) and ask Him for wisdom, guidance, and strength to do so. I cannot and do not want to do so on my own power. I want to be in control and know where my life and day is going. The Bible is clear on who truly has authority over this world. I have to stand aside and allow Him to have authority in my life each day. I struggle with seeking HIs authority in every area of my life. I pray that I will seek Him daily in all areas and then apply His wisdom to my actions. It is not enough to know what to do- I must do it. Only He can give me that strength. What a great reminder from the Word this morning.

  • Something I have learned is that giving authority of my life to God isn’t a one and done. It is something I have to do constantly. Jesus said to take up your cross, daily, and follow Him. I give Him authority over my life, only to grab it back. That is why it is so vital to me to connect each morning with The Word, with God and with each of you. It centers me for the day ahead. It is such a joy to me to know that He will walk with me through the day, as He does with each of you. I praise Him and am thankful for each of you who walks with me. God be with us today as we begin a new year. He is faithful and unchanging in a world that is ever changing.

    • Cecilia

      Amen!

    • Emily B.

      I wholeheartedly agree! That’s why I do these studies in the morning—it helps me focus on what’s more important before the day gets away with me.

  • Ashley Dunmire

    I want to clear a path in my life and make a way for him to rule over me. The paths in my life haven’t been clear lately and I have left no room for Jesus. With this new year, this is my hope.

    • Annissa Hackney

      Thank yo for that reminder and encouragement this morning. I, too, need to clear things out of my life that are distracting me from Jesus each day. I know that He does not “need” me to clear the path, it is more about obedience on my part. Praying for you today.

    • Amanda Fortner

      That is my hope for 2018 as well! I’ve left no room for Jesus and instead tried to clear my own path. Praying for you on this journey

  • This is such a timely lesson for me. We just had this very passage in our message at church on Sunday and I thought the same thing then. I want to live in obedience to and under the authority of my Lord Jesus Christ. Lord please help me to give you all the sins and burdens that I tend to hang onto thinking that I can be in control of just these few areas of my life. I can’t do it by myself Lord. I need you to do it in me. Create a clean heart in me oh Lord and restore a steadfast spirit within me I pray.

  • Churchmouse

    I’m guilty of proclaiming Jesus as Lord over my life but then relegating Him to the sidelines. I set Him aside until I feel I need Him to get in to the game, to pull off a last second victory. How foolish! I rely too much on my talents, my skills, my intellect (notice all the my’s) instead of walking humbly in obedience to His will. I’m grateful for being made more aware of this today so that a change of attitude and course can be made on this second day of the new year.

    • Shannon

      Churchmouse, your comments always resonate with me. I wish you and I could sit together and share a pot of coffee for a few hours! Keep sharing your thoughts and wisdom – they are a blessing to me!

    • Cecilia

      I do this too…sidelining Him. I love how you put it in a way I can apply it. Thanks for this perspective!

    • Amanda Fortner

      I’m guilty of this to. The mindset of I can handle these small things and let him control the large or step in when the small things grow. When really I have no control of the small things and need to let him lead in all ways!

  • Natasha Pavez

    I pray that this year is where I truly am able to serve only Him and follow Him with all my heart – and let Him hold the reins. Aren’t we fortunate that He is a patient God, and so full of mercy? Blessed beyond compare.

  • Whitney3

    This was a totally convicting devotional today! This year I’m trying to put the Lord first in all I do and NOT get distracted by literally everything I come across on the internet (bye bye social media!) Lord, you have authority over my entire life. Help me to look toward you in all things and lean into your will! Amen!

  • Kèñdrä Höñêã

    I want Him to be Lord of my life completely and wholly. I want Him to be so much Lord that I die well. I want to die to self this year and live every moment for the one who died for me! He has all authority if we give it to Him or not. We just reap the blessings and benefit if we give it willingly!

  • I never understood before why there was the declaration by God of who Jesus is after he was baptized, but it makes so much sense now. Praising Jesus for his authority and Lordship over everything as I go back to work in my classroom this morning!

  • Allyson Reedy-Mead

    As a new Christian and someone that likes to hold complete control of their life giving complete authority to Jesus is something very difficult. I pray in this New Year that Jesus helps me find the strength to release the control on my life and say give him complete authority over my life, being able to say whole heartedly “yes lord, I serve only you”

    • Rachel Anne

      Amen!

    • Tiffany Hill

      It’s such a foreign thought to relinquish control in a world that encourages controlling every aspect of your life. Undoing a bad habit takes time but I pray it passes quickly for you and the Lord blesses you with supernatural wisdom and peace♥️

  • Penny McAuley

    Very thought provoking questions asked in Andrea’s devotion this morning. Who has the authority in our lives? If we truly focus on the true authority, how much simpler our lives will be.

    • Laura Smith

      I agree. Very thought provoking. I am personally convicted of saying it with my mouth, but not always truly trusting in Him and His sovereign will through my thoughts and actions. I struggle badly with being a “control freak”. Praise God for His faithfulness, love, grace, mercy and patience toward us sinners. Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    It can be so difficult to give all authority to Him. I pray in this new year, that I would say, “Yes Lord, I am serving only you”, and actually follow through.
    Have a blessed day Sisters!

  • ‘If Jesus is not the authority in our lives, something else will be’. What challenging words! I know that I make myself my own authority too many times. But if Jesus really is the Son of God then he deserves to have authority over all aspects of my life.

    • Allison

      I totally agree! I was also struck by that comment. It’s a bit scary how easily Jesus can fade into the background, almost unknowingly. I really do have to make an effort to put Him first, in all things.

  • Derynne Singleton

    As a born again Christian I’m excited to actually understand his word and really get to know him!!

Further Reading...